Guiseley 0 Barrow 1: Long road to relegation comes to an end for battling Lions

Guiseley manager 'Sean St Ledger.
Guiseley manager 'Sean St Ledger.
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Guiseley’s relegation from the National League was confirmed after this defeat to Barrow.

It was always going to be tough for the Lions and interim manager Sean St Ledger said: “Obviously I’m very disappointed with the relegation and the result as well, we just have to go and try and end the season on a high, with some victories.”

Despite being pitted in tense relegation battles in their two previous campaigns at National League level, Guiseley’s third season in the fifth tier of English football has unquestionably proved to be their most fraught.

The decision to bring forward plans to go full-time under Paul Cox last autumn backfired dramatically and despite a host of players being brought in on permanent deals it failed to yield an upturn in results – quite the opposite in fact.

Cox paid the price for a wretched run of form when he was sacked in February and despite an upturn in team spirit and togetherness and the bringing back into the fold of a number of part-timers who had previously been overlooked, relegation has been on the cards for a good while.

Barrow had a host of chances in the first half, Kingsley James missing the pick of them with a close-range header.

Barrow started the second-half well and took the lead on 51 minutes when a Donovan Makoma free-kick was placed into the box, Joe Green came for it and missed it with captain Asa Hall in the right place to power his header in and send the away fans wild.

With time running out, Guiseley threw players at it, the visitors though were able to control most of the possession, but that changed when Donovan Makoma was sent off for putting his hands to the face of Guiseley’s Calum McFadzean.